Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm Not Lovin' It

In July of 2007, we moved from VA to CA.  Rich was retiring from the Coast Guard and we had always planned on moving here in the end.  When we journeyed across the country, we made several stops along the way.  The first was OH so I could see my BFL for the first time in 20 years.  It was such a trip!  I just kept staring at her and thinking how weird it was.  And how much she looked like her mom.  Then her daughter came into the room and I almost choked for I was taken back in time and saw my friend captured in her daughter's face. 

In the course of three and a half weeks, nearly a dozen states and 4,000 miles we must have eaten at 30 different McDonald's.  Or so it felt.  So it was only appropriate to take a picture at the last McD's we stopped at just 2 hours from our final destination.  I do not remember what we ate for dinner that night.  But I feel pretty safe in saying that we did not have McDonald's.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Fun

This weekend I had a houseful!  We had 20 people in our house.  We such party animals!  Seriously we had family visiting from out of state.  Everyone in my house was family and the scary part is, it was only a fraction of us.  We would need to rent a hall!  All of those people, and not one picture!  My camera sat like a lame duck in the corner.  It didn't take one picture!  However, I did get some other pictures of our weekend.

Friday was Apples to Apples
Saturday before family started to arrive, I asked my husband to buy me a "ridiculously large" Diet Coke.  He did.
64 ounces!  No, I was not able to drink it all.  I wanted to blink.
And today the kids had jacuzzi fun.  We finally got it looking normal again.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Fairy TAIL Princess

I thought I would use Fridays to go back in time and share memories.  This one goes all the way back to 2003.  Kristin was almost six, Emily was three and Ryan was a thought, but just a thought. 

Rich got a lovely chunk of money bonus by reenlisting and signing to retirement.  With part of that lovely bonus we had a fab vacation like we've never had before which included 3 days at Disneyland and CA Disneyland. It was an exhausting three days.  I had blisters on my feet at the end.  It was a blast though, and I would totally do it all over again!  I was not sick of it at all.  We brought my niece with us.  She was 13 at the time, and I felt like I needed to stand in front of her when perverty old men persons of the male species would oggle stare at her.

Meeting Ariel was one of the many highlights of this adventure.  Shortly after our return home, I thought I would tell Kristin about a real princess.

She looked at me with all her then six year old wonder and asked, "Did we meet her?"  I guess she was too young at the time. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom

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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Weekend

When it is too hot too sleep in your room, what do you do?
Camp out in the family room!

What do you do when it's a beautiful summer day?

Yeah it was a busy full day!  But still lots of fun.

Kristin had fun riding the waves

For the most part!

Emily thought about it.

Ryan was not keen about the big beach water.  In his defense, the waves were big! Especially to a 4 year old.

This is MY wave.  It was coming right at me.  I was in the water up to the tops of my legs(about 3 and a half feet)

Okay have you heard of People of Wal-Mart?  Well between my mean girl brutally honest attitude and my niece we came up with "People of the Beach!"

There are those who CAN (this is my niece)

And there are those who can NOT!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Got Dough?

On Wednesday I made homemade rolls using my bread maker.  I plopped the ingredients in for a batch of rolls and the kids and I set out to go swimming.  I knew we would be gone longer than the 90 minutes it spends in the bread maker, but I figured it wouldn't matter too much.

Yeah just a little bit more than usual.   The rolls turned out lovely just the same!

Kristin went to Young Womens that same night and they worked on art as opposed to ice blocking.  Here is what she did...

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I was introduced to a very nice gal who lives in a gated community.  She has told me that any time I want to come swimming all I have to do is call.  I am not one to jump on these invites, because I feel funny about it.  But something in her manner told me otherwise.  So I took her up on her offer, and took the kids swimming.  I forgot my camera again!  Cell phones are cameras too!

Kristin is no longer a guppy.  She is a dolphin!

A guppy now, but soon Ryan will reach dolphin status!

I am assuming this worked!  It's really bad because it was with my phone...Emily is now a gold fish as she quickly goes (almost) all the way under!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Photos By Kristin

I love Kristin and Emily's zest for taking pictures.  They just get click happy.  But you know what?  They take some darn good pictures.

Here's a couple by Kristin.

She did a "reflections" theme.
I wouldn't have thought to do either of these.  What fun and interesting to look at too!  I especially love her angle on Em's toes in the water.  (Nah, Mama isn't proud!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A New Obsession

I have tons of pictures I have yet to share.  I keep thinking I will do it.  But then I forget.  Well, I have been playing with my Paint Shop Pro X.  And let me tell you, I think I have found a new obsession.  I also downloaded the free trial version of lightroom.  I like it, but there are a few things that have me scratching my head. are some products of my editing.

These were taken at an Arboretum near us with this interesting maze and sculptures.

Want to see that closer?
A few more before we head to the beach...

I usually am not a fan of soft focus, but I thought it looked cool here.

Now for the beach...original shot and edited.
It was overcast and super cold that day.  69* was the high!
and yet, they still went in the water.  That is Emily there defying that wave!!Way to go Little Middle!
What a ham!

Ryan had no desire whatsoever to go in the water.  Smart.

More to come!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Welcome Emmy Mom!

We have a very special guest today here at Point and Shoot.  She is a busy mom of three little ones.  She is creative not only in her writings, but in her play and teaching with her kids.  She also is one heck of a photographer.  So, I thought it would be cool to feature her here and maybe learn a thing or two in the process!  And I did.  So please give a warm welcome to Emmy Mom!    

CA Girl: What got you into photography?

EmmyMom:  I have always liked photography; when I graduated from high school my parents bought me a camera. I got to choose whatever kind I wanted. My dad was steering me towards a little point and shoot, as it would be easy to carry around; but I wanted the big dog, the Canon Rebel G (film version-as this was pre-digital). I think I mostly wanted it as I thought it made me look like a professional; didn't really have any clue how to use it-it just looked cool.
Then my sister-in-law Rachel got the Canon Rebel G-digital a few years back and was taking amazing pictures. So I knew what was on my list. I got my Rebel G Xti and just haven't looked back.

CG:   Have you ever taken any courses?

EM:  I have attended a few photography lectures; but I am mostly self taught. I learn through shooting a lot and through reading lots and lots of library books.

CG:  On average how many pictures do you take in a sitting/outing?

EM:  During a recent family photo shoot, I shot for about a hour. In that hour I took almost 200 pictures, 50 of which I immediately deleted (well immediately AFTER I had uploaded them on my computer-never delete from the little view finder window unless it is beyond obviously bad). I then did more in-depth editing and ended up with 57 unique shots that were good enough to give the client. So taking a lot of pictures, especially when you are first learning is a must.

CG: What kinds of things do you look for in a photo op?

EM:  I look for catching that real moment or something that shows real personalities. Yes, sometimes it is good to get everyone together and say "smile" but those unexpected moments, those real interactions, the unexpected surprises are what are so fun to catch.

CG:   I am of the opinion that people are bestowed with certain gifts, but I am also of the opinion that if I put my mind to it, I can do anything. That being said, how do I become a good (better than I am) photographer? What is the first thing I should learn?

EM:  The first thing that you should learn is your pictures are not going to look like the ones on your favorite photographers site. Even as you get good and start being able to take amazing pictures, they will and should have your own style. If you are just trying to copy what you see out there, you will never be happy-as it will never be the exact same. Now, with that said, it is good to look at other pictures, see what you like about them, why you like them and try and follow the rules that that photographer used but don't try and copy.

CG:  What are your favorite editing secrets?

EM:  Lightroom. I love the program. It is easier to use than Photoshop or similar programs and is all just about the lighting and coloring of a picture. But my other favorite thing that can be done in any program is usually to bump up the exposure a bit and sharpen the picture. But I do sometimes do some more crazy editing, like make people disappear from pictures.

CG:  A lot of people (myself included) have trouble with composition. I will look at a subject and think I have the frame filled nicely and it turns out I have a mile of space around or above my subject. How do you judge this without the use of a zoom lens? Also, I have been known to fill the frame too much and cropping it or printing results in cutting the subject out.

EM:  The only way to figure out composition is to take some practice shots with your camera. Every camera is different. More often than not I will think I am filling the frame but there is extra space. Get a willing subject or even just a stuffed animal and take several pictures. Notice what it looks like in your frame and then see how it looks when it is uploaded, assuming you are using digital.
Printing can be tricky. Most point and shoot cameras do not actually take a 4X6 picture. So if you have a point and shot and are printing 4X6 snapshots pick the "true digital" option if available. The pictures will actually only be 4 X 5.7 or something like that, but then you will not get any weird cropping that you did not expect.

CG:  Tell me about one of your favorite pictures.

  While I have a lot of shots that might be more interesting and even better photographically but this will always be one of my favorite pictures. Why? This was taken just a few days after I got my Rebel G Xti. I think I shot over 1000 pictures that month just trying out my camera. And this is one of those shots that after I took it made me think, yes I can do this.

CG:   Now tell me about the one that made you cringe.

  I don't keep many bad pictures, in fact I delete them pretty quickly-as those cringe worthy shots make me think: what in the world? Do I even know what I am doing?? So I made sure to save one from my latest photo shoot.

Not only is the picture totally blurry but my husbands head looks huge and almost like it is coming out of the picture. Also it is overexposed to the point where Ryder and Eric's arm are hard to distinguish. Shots like this make me think, what in the world am I doing?

CG:   Are there any other tips or pointers you can give to the novice photographer?

EM:  The first thing that took my pictures up a level is the lighting. Most people pick up a camera, turn it on and take a picture and more often than not the flash goes off. The built in flashes will make a picture look flat. If you want that professional/dimensional look, use natural light and turn the flash off! A good source of natural light from the side makes for a beautiful picture with interesting light and depth. And so this isn't too long, you can see a few extra tips for beginners on my blog here. 

This photo was taken with the light from the window coming from the right.  No flash, all natural.  Look at how beautifully it illuminates his sweet face.

Thank you Emmy for spending time with us today.  Your tips and hints are greatly appreciated.

***All photos are property of Emmy Mom of Emily Kathryn Photography.***

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Dreaded Corner!

I have a corner...a corner that is all mine.  It's my corner of shame...this was what it looked like....for far too long...

And I knew where everything was too...okay not really...

First it threw up and then it BLEW UP!

In the end, it was all worth it.  I couldn't have done it without my mom.  She kept me going when I wanted to quit.  Which was a lot!

And there you have it!